We understand that there have been some questions about how decisions coming from National Cabinet are implemented and interpreted in Western Australia.
In our State, the decisions are given effect via State of Emergency declarations from WA Police and the Department of Health. Those declarations can be found here.
Some of you have asked about mass gathering rules. Under the relevant declaration, those rules do not apply to any gathering at an office building that is necessary for the normal business of the premises. This would apply to all sector office buildings.
Others have asked about the closure of certain places of business, worship and entertainment. There may be a small impact for some of you from these three declarations, which include closure of community, recreation or youth centres other than to host essential voluntary or public services such as food banks or homelessness services.
There have also been questions about the regional border restrictions that will take effect from midnight tonight. The currently available guidance is provided below (the formal declaration has not yet been made). For the community services sector, the key point is that people travelling to work, both paid and unpaid, are exempted.
We suggest that if any of your staff are travelling to or for work across the regional boundaries outlined below, they carry a hard copy or electronic letter from you as their employer. We have attached a template letter for you to put on your own letterhead and use.
We know that this is not a simple or perfect regulatory regime. We are working closely with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, WA Police and other agencies to improve communication of various measures, and ensure that the impact on the community services sector is actively considered in any directions that are made.
Michelle Andrews & Deb Zanella | Community Sector Partnership Team
Border Controls – Community Service Sector Exemptions
The WA Government will introduce further restrictions on travel within Western Australia from 11:59pm Tuesday, 31 March 2020 to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19. After this time, most Western Australians will not be allowed to travel outside their designated region. Western Australian intrastate travel is defined as movement through the boundaries of the regions of Western Australia.
These regions are:
• Perth and Peel (due to their proximity, the Perth and Peel regions will form one region)
• South West
• Great Southern
Police have the power to enforce these restrictions, and fines of up to $50,000 can be issued.
Access to designated regions, including the Kimberley (including the entire Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, and parts of the Shire of East Pilbara encompassing the communities of Jigalong, Martu homeland communities and Kiwirrkurra) have additional stronger restrictions in place. This is to help curb the spread of COVID-19 into our very vulnerable communities, which could have catastrophic consequences.